Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event

N. M. Schneider, S. K. Jain, J. Deighan, C. R. Nasr, D. A. Brain, D. Larson, R. Lillis, Ali Rahmati, J. S. Halekas, C. O. Lee, M. S. Chaffin, A. Stiepen, M. Crismani, J. S. Evans, M. H. Stevens, D. Y. Lo, W. E. McClintock, A. I.F. Stewart, Roger Yelle, J. T. ClarkeG. M. Holsclaw, F. Lefevre, F. Montmessin, B. M. Jakosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the detection of bright aurora spanning Mars' nightside during the space weather event occurring in September 2017. The phenomenon was similar to diffuse aurora detected previously at Mars, but 25 times brighter and detectable over the entire visible nightside. The observations were made with the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph, a remote sensing instrument on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft orbiting Mars. Images show that the emission was brightest around the limb of the planet, with a fairly uniform faint glow against the disk itself. Spectra identified four molecular emissions associated with aurora, and limb scans show the emission originated from an altitude of ~60 km in the atmosphere. Both are consistent with very high energy particle precipitation. The auroral brightening peaked around 13 September, when the flux of solar energetic electrons and protons both peaked. During the declining phase of the event, faint but statistically significant auroral emissions briefly appeared against the disk of the planet in the form of narrow wisps and small patches. These features are approximately aligned with predicted open field lines in the region of strong crustal magnetic fields in Mars' southern hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7391-7398
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2018

Fingerprint

space weather
aurora
mars
Mars
weather
limbs
planets
Mars atmosphere
limb
ultraviolet spectrometers
particle precipitation
planet
Southern Hemisphere
atmosphere
remote sensing
spacecraft
luminescence
atmospheres
energetics
protons

Keywords

  • aurora
  • emission
  • magnetic fields
  • Mars
  • space weather
  • ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Schneider, N. M., Jain, S. K., Deighan, J., Nasr, C. R., Brain, D. A., Larson, D., ... Jakosky, B. M. (2018). Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(15), 7391-7398. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077772

Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event. / Schneider, N. M.; Jain, S. K.; Deighan, J.; Nasr, C. R.; Brain, D. A.; Larson, D.; Lillis, R.; Rahmati, Ali; Halekas, J. S.; Lee, C. O.; Chaffin, M. S.; Stiepen, A.; Crismani, M.; Evans, J. S.; Stevens, M. H.; Lo, D. Y.; McClintock, W. E.; Stewart, A. I.F.; Yelle, Roger; Clarke, J. T.; Holsclaw, G. M.; Lefevre, F.; Montmessin, F.; Jakosky, B. M.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 15, 16.08.2018, p. 7391-7398.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schneider, NM, Jain, SK, Deighan, J, Nasr, CR, Brain, DA, Larson, D, Lillis, R, Rahmati, A, Halekas, JS, Lee, CO, Chaffin, MS, Stiepen, A, Crismani, M, Evans, JS, Stevens, MH, Lo, DY, McClintock, WE, Stewart, AIF, Yelle, R, Clarke, JT, Holsclaw, GM, Lefevre, F, Montmessin, F & Jakosky, BM 2018, 'Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 45, no. 15, pp. 7391-7398. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077772
Schneider NM, Jain SK, Deighan J, Nasr CR, Brain DA, Larson D et al. Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event. Geophysical Research Letters. 2018 Aug 16;45(15):7391-7398. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077772
Schneider, N. M. ; Jain, S. K. ; Deighan, J. ; Nasr, C. R. ; Brain, D. A. ; Larson, D. ; Lillis, R. ; Rahmati, Ali ; Halekas, J. S. ; Lee, C. O. ; Chaffin, M. S. ; Stiepen, A. ; Crismani, M. ; Evans, J. S. ; Stevens, M. H. ; Lo, D. Y. ; McClintock, W. E. ; Stewart, A. I.F. ; Yelle, Roger ; Clarke, J. T. ; Holsclaw, G. M. ; Lefevre, F. ; Montmessin, F. ; Jakosky, B. M. / Global Aurora on Mars During the September 2017 Space Weather Event. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 15. pp. 7391-7398.
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